More Scams!?

SoundCloud is a great service to post your recordings, sound files, etc. It's just a nice, free music publishing service. I've posted a lot there over the years. I haven't posted much recently, but I'll start again when I have some junk to post. There are recording stuffs on my phone right now, but I gotta sift through the muck, and dust off the gems.

Anyway, SoundCloud is also a great service for people to cold contact you about their 'FREE SERVICES FOR MUSICAL ARTISTS!'

I would hope that it would be obvious these days that there aren't free services which promote you, outside of the services which you use to promote yourself. No one wants to do that for free for you. I'll promote you on my website, but there has to be incentive; I won't do it for free.

There are websites which allegedly check to see if other websites are scam sites. These also might be scam sites, to legitimize other scam sites. When I covered the wctr-radio chicago Cynthia, Akademia music awards SCAM, I checked the website through various systems, which returned the site as safe. When the site returns as safe, what I take that to mean is there are not drive-by download attacks, or various other attacks. That's fine; good that it's not a directed attack site. But, these safety-check sites don't point out that the wording on the site may seem legitimate, while offering to still take your money for a ride, with no real results.

About 30 minutes ago I received an e-mail from someone called Jenny Walker. The subject was 'How's the music going?'
This seems, polite, and friendly. Maybe I met this person somewhere, or have had an online interaction with them before. Here's the body of the message:
 

Hi,
Hope the music is going great.
So, I’ve come across something that might be of
interest to you.
It works well for music on SoundCloud.
I’ll send it over later on for you.

Regards,
Jenny x
— Jenny Walker. Whoever she is.

Yeah, I bet it will be of interest to me. The e-mail address I received this from was audiodigital@zoho.com. Zoho.com seems legitimate enough, but I can't seem to find any information on this Jenny Walker person anywhere. And why wouldn't she just send this interesting thing, that might be of interest to me, immediately? Could this be.... a scam?
For investigation sake, I e-mailed back. I asked how we met, and how she had come across my music, which I'm guessing was through SoundCloud. My e-mail address, and website, is posted on my profile, for the whole world, except North Korean, to see.

I have yet to receive a reply, but I will update this blog post when I do. Another rainy, scammy, day in Portland.

Update:

I received a reply from this Jenny person. It was just what I thought it was, a link to some ridiculous site proclaiming your fame and fortune if you somehow link your SoundCloud page to it. The email didn't answer any of my questions back. Most likely it's just a bot which waits for a response, then sends a pre-scripted follow up based on some sort of timer.

Not very exciting, or innovative.

 

conor o'bryan

 

 

Téada

There's a fun-sounding event happening in Robin Hood's hometown of Sherwood, 28.5 km south of Portland. It's the Téada reAwakening event. I don't know what it's supposed to be about, but the music will be good. I'm sure we will hear all the instruments. Kelsey is excited because dancey man, Brian Cunningham, will be rug cutting.

I've gotten a lot of website traffic recently, due to my writing about the wctr radio Chicaco scam. Although I'm not always able to get the Google search results to show the individual blog entry; it shows the entire blog page, after which a user would have to scroll down through all the bloggy posts. I wonder if there is a search function I can implement in this blog. Or, a function to only show the 'Scams!' entry in Google results. I'll see. Either way, I hope that writing about it will prevent more people from getting scammed by scammers.

 

 

conor

 

 

Scams!

A good one came in on the wire this morning. When I say 'wire' I mean facebook. Someone called Cynthia contacted us, from 'WCTR Radio Chicaco.' She informed us that she enjoyed one of the tracks we posted, and to e-mail her.
Richie got back to her, and received a pretty boiler-plate sounding response.
He had asked if she would like us to send her a promo-CD, or the digital press kit for Na Rosai, but she didn't seem interested.

Cynthia,
Thanks for the kind words on our FB page. Please let us know if you’d like a copy of the album to play on your station. As an alternative we can also provide our digital press pack with mp3 versions.
Best wishes,
Richie

Three minutes shy of two hours later, we receieve:

Hi Richie,

Thanks for checking in. You’ve got a good thing going and I’d like to help you get to the next level.

Aside from the major record labels, there are other organizations that can help you to secure significant airplay. Lately, we’ve been receiving some of our best music from The Akademia Music Awards. This company is covering the cost to get artists not only on WCTR Chicago, but on an extended network of stations worldwide. Therefore, you may want to consider submitting your music to them at www.theakademia.com. Just a thought.

I hope that this is helpful. Please keep me posted on your success and thanks for tuning in!

Sincerely,

Cynthia Miller
Program Director
WCTR Radio Chicago
www.wctr-radio.com

This seems fishy enough. A radio station promoting, what appears to be, a different organization. The Akademia apparently has some talent contest, with lots of generic looking artists in bad PR shots, all over their early 2000s style website. The interesting spin on this contest is that you pay to enter it. You probably win, regardless, and they play you ad infinitum, on their silly sounds streaming server. I'm aware that competitive step dancers pay to enter competitions(Their parents pay, rather. Their parents also buy them those wacky dresses and the funny wigs) but I'm not about to shell out some money to someone running a website from 2003.

I looked up this Chicago radio station. The WCTR site is another, hideous explosion of color. The Earth in the background covered in a lit-mesh of purple. It turns out, there is no radio station. The call letters aren't even registered with the FCC, as they wouldn't need to be; no one is actually broadcasting FM radio. They have a small flash box which plays, I suppose on repeat, a list of artists who probably paid for their award from Akademia. I listened for a few minutes, before I didn't want damage my brain any longer. This flash box happens to be the only part of the website that even does something. There's a video section, which is just the standard page, with no modification, no video. There's a contact page, which is just the standard page, with the contact info for our pal Cynthia.

This is one of many sites all registered to the same anonymous group, as revealed by whois results. I went to another of their 'radio stations' WNYR. Same format site, different graphics, same playlist. All of these 'radio stations' are controlled by the Akademia thing, so when Cynthia tells us 'This company[The Akademia] is covering the cost to get artists not only on WCTR Chicago, but on an extended network of stations worldwide.' it's quite misleading. They're all very much the same site, by the same people. They're not radio stations. You won't actually get any real publicity from any of this, unless like me, you actually listen to some of the streaming server playlist.

Long story short: It's just some scam.

Here's a great Reddit thread about it, where the owner of The Akademia himself, Anwar Najmi, has a less-than-successful battle with the various redditors chiming in.

Hopefully, if anyone searches to find if this is a scam, they'll find this blog, or the various other places where The Akademia has been dismissed as perhaps not fraudulent, but merely one of those 'just not true' phenomena we come across so often on the internet.

To finish, admire his skills at bustin a jam, or whatever it is they're trying to do here: